Zack & Nick's Culture Cast

Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!

The Legend of Midget Joe

I came across this the other day.  It is so completely absurd, yet all true that I had to share it with our readers.

First, some background.  Comic books created in the 1930s and ’40s are generally considered to be a part of the “Golden Age”.  The character of The Flash was created during this time, but he was a very different incarnation from how he is known today.  Back then, he was Jay Garrick and he wore a very off-the-rack costume highlighted by a Mercury-styled helmet.

Okay, that’s out of the way.

Thanks to an article posted over at Speed Force, I learned of a Flash villain from this era.  Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce you to Midget Joe!

This is a real character.

This is a real character.

I needed to learn more about this character.  Unfortunately, there was little I could find online.  From what I could gather, Midget Joe is a little person who commits crimes while pretending to be a kid.  Yes, this is the exact premise of the Wayans Brothers’ film Little Man.

I did more looking and came across Midget Joe’s first appearance (yes, this character inexplicably appeared more than once) in Flash Comics #45 (1943).  Here is the summary for that story (courtesy of the DC Comics Database):

Jay wins a baby in a raffle and it immediately becomes a headache for himself [trying to explain it to Joan], and to the Flash, when the baby turns out to be a midget crook!

Oh, where to begin with this?  I love the casual use of the word “midget”.  Eh, it was a different time.  More amazingly, I love how this story apparently starts with Jay winning a baby in a raffle.  Wha…WHAT?!  How does that…can that happen?!

Comics, everybody!

I need to track this story down and read it in its entirety to see how all the absurdity plays out.  I can’t imagine it being anything short of amazing.

Also, congrats to Speed Force on their five year anniversary!

~N

Advertisements

One response to “The Legend of Midget Joe

  1. Kelson June 19, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Thank you!

    “The Magic of Super-Speed” was one of the comics I picked up during the years I was buying any Golden Age Flash comic I could find for under $20 (or whatever my price limit was). I remember thinking it weird at the time, but when I found out about Midget Joe’s first appearance…that was bizarre. I had basically the same reaction you did (complete with comparing it to “Little Man”).

    I did eventually see a copy, and the situation made marginally more sense in context, though I can’t remember how.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: